2. Joe Illing writes about his time in Dixie learning to be a soldier back in the day. My favorite part:
The “private” nightclubs of Charleston, Augusta and the other cities I visited helped to pass the time. They were private only in the sense that they had a “private club” sign hung over their entry doors. When patronizing one of these establishments you’d ring a doorbell, a peephole would open, and if you weren’t black you passed their one membership criterion.One of Joe's granchildren is named "Olympia." I kid you not. I love that.
Like these private clubs, remnants of the old segregated south were still to be found all around. Restrooms with signs reading “Whites Only,” or drinking fountains marked “Colored” were old and faded, and largely ignored, but not yet replaced.
I found this absolutely alien to the integrated California of my childhood. But as my mandate was to protect the civilized world, I figured it was in my nation’s best interests that I visit as many of the private clubs as I possible in order to understand the social milieu I found myself forced to protect. After all, in my capacity as guardian of the Western World, I had to consider the civil liberties of the girls who visited them in order to dance, drink and meet guys.
3. Merwyn lost his Myspace blog, so let this be a warning to you. If it is important, and you don't have a local copy, make yourself a local copy. Or pray the Internet Archive grabbed one for you.
4. Camp Quixote has been around for going on seven years. Damn Rob Richards, nice personal perspective.
5. Merwyn writes a lot of good stuff (see the link above), but this piece where he parses out his feelings on choice versus life is particularly good:
I am Pro-Life. I believe abortion kills the beating heart of a sentient human. But I sometimes appear to be Pro-Choice because I know there’s a difference between contraception and abortion.
And because I believe your right to medical privacy trumps my opinion. Including the right of a teenager’s privacy against her parents.
And because I agree the lawmakers and activists screaming most loudly against Roe vs. Wade don’t give a shit about the starving, the working poor, the disabled, the sick – that they are most likely to support (and celebrate) executions, the death of foreigners, the denial of immigrants.
And because I know the mythical fertile promiscuous woman who uses abortion as birth control is as fictional as the Cadillac driving welfare queen with crates of lobsters bought with her SNAP card.
So I believe what I believe. But I know, beyond belief, that if those working hard to overturn Roe vs. Wade focused instead on creating jobs, providing affordable healthcare and affordable childcare, gave school and daycare teachers a respectable income for the hours they put in, gave equal pay for equal work, focused on eliminating the attitude that allows rape culture to flourish – and, finding that those on the left would actually work with them to achieve these goals – then I believe that the number of times a woman finds herself having to consider that choice would drop. It wouldn’t disappear entirely, I don’t think that can happen. As soon as one’s sure they know the Absolutes, something new and complex enters.
The world is complicated. Read his entire piece.
5. And, there's a new park taking shape on the westside. I drove by it last night with a buddy on our way to get a beer. He said it was a pretty bad place for a park, there on that busy street. How could anyone enjoy it?
I replied it had been left empty for years since a log yard closed down and that it seemed like ever since then, people had been fighting over what was going on there.